Medical assistants keep healthcare practices running smoothly by helping with routine office tasks and clinical duties. They schedule appointments, maintain patient records and handle billing and insurance. On the clinical side, they prepare patients for their visit by taking medical histories, checking vital signs and performing simple lab tests.
Most medical assistants work in a physician’s office, but they can also work for podiatrists, optometrists and other healthcare providers, or at hospitals and nursing homes. They work a normal week with possible evening and weekend hours. Depending on the type and size of the practice, medical assistants may perform a wide variety of tasks or specialize in a specific area.
The majority of medical assistant training programs last only one year, but some colleges offer an associate’s degree.
Licensure and Certification
After completing a program, medical assistants may choose to take the American Association of Medical Assistants certification exam. However, certification is not required to work in Iowa.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
Medical assistants can expect a great amount of job growth. The average growth for the state is 29%, but the outlook is even better in northeast Iowa and around Des Moines.